In this article I’m going to cover off some very important training traps that you’ll want to avoid over the coming weeks. By following this advice, you’ll find out how to manage your training load correctly to ensure you get to the start line of the Around the Bay in the best possible form.

So now is the time to reflect on your training, check your progress against the our FREE Training plan for the Around the Bay and re-establish what you are planning on doing in the remaining weeks leading up to the event.

The last two weeks of the 12-week training program are your taper. In the last two weeks before the event, there is not a lot you can do to improve your fitness. In these weeks it’s about giving your body the chance to recover from your training load that you have done to build up to the event and will provide you with your last final lift in fitness. Ride hard during these final two weeks and you will achieve the opposite effect.

If you are behind in your training, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can just cram in the last two weeks leading up to the event. Building fitness does not work like that. If you do, there is a high chance that you will end up tired and fatigued on the day of the Around the Bay. Or worst still, fall ill to a cold or flu and end up having to miss the event altogether. You’ll also might have your fitness peak the two weeks after the event, just in time to be too late!

Once you do start your two-week taper, you’ll find yourself start to freshen up. It’s during this critical two-week taper that you’ll be tempted to “go hard” because you start feeling really good. During this time, you’ll want to get back from your rides feeling like you haven’t done enough.

Leave “going hard” for the day of the Around the Bay. If you don’t, you’ll end up blowing your taper, and this will result in you not being at your optimal fitness and freshness for the Around the Bay.

So, this means that you only have the weeks before these last two weeks to continue to build your fitness.

I like to use events like the Around the Bay as part of my build into my summer riding, so it’s part of a longer term plan for the season. That’s because it is run early on in the summer season.

If you are going on to another event make sure you take one or two weeks out and get adequate rest after the event before you go on to start building your training again.

During these one or two “transition” weeks just ride when you feel like it. Take it easy by keeping the bulk of your riding at an intensity where you can hold a conversation with your fellow riders. That’s below 75% of your max heart rate or around 56-75% of your 60-minute threshold power. Listen to your body. As the fatigue of the event washes out of you over these one or two weeks, you’ll start to freshen up, and you’ll notice this in your riding.

If you manage this correctly, you’ll get another lift in your fitness, and you’ll be ready to take on anything. If you continue to ride hard after the event, you may run the risk of spiralling yourself into a black hole of fatigue. Meaning that you could miss out on enjoying the some of the best riding you can have during the warmer months of the year because you’ll either be too fatigued or become ill.

So remember the next few weeks are critical. It’s the last chance you have to improve your fitness.  If you need to “cram in your training” or “ride yourself into some form”, it’s this next few weeks before your taper that you do it. Not the last two weeks leading up to the event. But don’t cram too much or else you may end up making yourself sick and having to miss the event altogether.

All the best with your training.